BMC said to be getting $80 million in stimulus funds

By 
Reporter Staff
Apr. 2, 2009

As part of the country’s economic recovery plan, Massachusetts just secured a $764 million boost for healthcare services last week, and the Boston Medical Center is said to be getting $80 million for FY 2010. Dorchester’s Codman Square Health Center and the Dorchester House both rely on BMC for a considerable chunk of their funding.

The hospital is suffering financially as Gov. Deval Patrick’s 9-C budget cuts take effect and state payments meant as a temporary three-year buffer during the state’s healthcare reform dry up. In 2010, the combined cuts were estimated to be as high as $220 million. Now Patrick and the BMC have agreed that the difference between what the state is paying for services for low-income patients and the costs to the BMC for those services is $173 million.

“The $80 million is a good first step, but we need to go further,” said Ellen Berlin, a BMC spokeswoman.

The 1199SEIU is praising the $80 million, which comes in the form of Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) money, but also saying it’s not enough.

“Much of the funding included in Governor Patrick’s announcement today is for previously delivered services,” said Mike Fadel, local vice president of 1199SEIU in a prepared statement. “While the $80 million allocation acknowledges the funding problem created by previous patient care cuts, it is not a complete solution to the $173 million in funding needed to ensure health care access for low-income families and patients at Boston Medical Center.”